This is the final article in a four-part series that is intended to help you thrive by living an integrated life. This final article will help you create your Personal Statement of Life Purpose.
Why create a statement of life purpose?
Because your statement will:
- Help you understand what life you really want to lead and why.
- Provide a picture of the desired future that you can actually see.
- Provide a guideline to help you make long term and daily decisions.
- Inspire you and others.
- Allow you to see how you can contribute to the world.
- Guide you back on track when things get chaotic.
- Help you decide when to say no. Once you have a burning “yes” inside you about what’s truly important, it’s easier to say “no” to the unimportant.
A clear, concise, strong, very personal statement may be created by following a 4-step process. Each step is important in itself but when considered as a part of the whole they have considerable creative power.
- Identify your constituency.
- Identify your personal values.
- Identify your talents and strengths.
- Create your personal statement.
Identify and prioritize your constituencies
What are you accounts? Who and what do you serve? There is no right list, it is your list. It may include people like your spouse, your children, co-workers, friends, students, and even yourself. It may include beliefs or strong values like, your God, career, financial security or a commitment to community politics. It may include activities like the work you do, church, physical fitness, learning or love of travel.
Identify who and what are most important to you?
- List who and what do you serve?
- Prioritize your list and add your top 6 below.
A list of suggestions and terms that might stimulate your thoughts about constituencies may be obtained by contacting: Info@inspired-engagement.com
Identify and prioritize your personal values
Create a list of your personal values, the deeply held beliefs that certain qualities are desirable. Values define what is right and fundamentally important to you.
- Make a list of all of the values you would consider a deeply held personal or core value of yours. You may wish to contact Inspired Engagement at email@example.com and receive a list of potential core values to stimulate your thought about your values.
- Select all that resonate with you from the list.
- Prioritize your selections. Which are most important to you?
- Select the top 6 and list them in order below.
- For each the 6 values you selected describe the behaviors that demonstrate what the value looks like when you live it. A value that you don’t regularly act on is only a good intention. A couple of examples:
- Family – I schedule 1 night a week to have dinner together with my family.
- Adventure – I spend 2 weeks a year participating in new adventure activities.
- Knowledge – I read one book a week and take a class or training session three times a year.
- Keep in mind these are behaviors you actually live not wish you lived. Be as specific as possible. Do you value honesty? Or is what you really value is others being honest to you? Do you believe in confidentiality or do you want others to keep your confidence?
- Personal values don’t need to be exactly the same as those of your place of work or school, but they do need to be aligned in order for you to experience personal fulfillment.
A list of suggestions and terms that can stimulate your thoughts about values may be obtained by contacting Info@inspired-engagement.com
Identify your talents
Talents are behavior patterns that make you effective, thought patterns that make you efficient, beliefs that empower you to succeed, attitudes that sustain your efforts toward achievement and excellence, and motivations that propel you to take action and maintain the energy needed to achieve. To have impact a personal vision statement must represent your natural, enduring talents to assure it will be exciting for you to follow.
The best path to identifying your talents is to complete the CliftonStrengths Assessment (CliftonStrengths Finder) or a similar tool. Access to the CliftonStrengths Assessment may be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
- Review your CliftonStrengths Assessment Signature Theme Insight report or if available your Full CliftonStrengths 34 Report.
- Underline the sentences and phrases in each theme description that resonates with you and cross out any that you feel do not fit. What you have underlined are your talents.
- Read over the passages you underlined and select at least one from each theme that you feel strongly about.
- List your top 5 or 10 themes and at least one of your talents for each.
Draft a Personal Statement of Life Purpose
Thinking back on previous sections of this article reflect on your thoughts around purpose and the vision you created of your future, refer to the prioritized lists above of constituents, values and talents and begin to draft your Personal Statement of Life Purpose. Just write it without judgement. Let the thoughts flow. Carry the draft around with you and reflect on what you have written. Live with it for a while. Give it time to simmer and bring out the richness of your words. Share your statement with others and experience their reactions. Keep in mind, it is your purpose, your statement not theirs.
- Make any changes you feel in your heart better express your life purpose.
- The statement should:
- Answer the question why, not what.
- Be a guide for you and answer the question, “Why do I get out of bed in the morning?”
- Be affirmative and strong. Avoid words like “I try” or “I strive.” Don’t TRY, DO!
- Be written in the present tense. Avoid “I will.”
- Not be a goal statement.
- “I will have my PhD the age of 40″ is a goal not a purpose.
- Be short enough that you can remember it and recite it with ease.
- Make you feel good, inspire you and have meaning to YOU!
A sample of other’s statements of life purpose may be obtained by contacting Info@inspired-engagement.com
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